As the name suggests, it elevates the scapula, or your shoulder blade.
Typically, the crunchy knots develop at the attachment where the muscle fibers connect to the bone. (see the image)
The reason those attachments suffer so much is because the weight of your arm and shoulder pulls down on the Levator all day.
It gets especially strained when you sit (in the office, or while driving) - the Levator stays in the overstretched position for a long time.
What happens to any muscle when you keep stretching it for too long beyond its comfortable limit?
It starts to tear.
The weakest spot is always at the attachments. The muscle fibers begin to split off the bone. Yikes!
Sounds bad, but it happens to all of us. We rarely see people who do not have crunchy Levators. Most of us do.
Often, after several such mini-tears, the tissue may start to ache. You may feel a nagging ache while sitting, or walking, or even while sleeping at night.
Your body heals these mini-tears at night by laying extra collagen at the attachments - this looks like an internal adhesion, or a scar.
The adhesions create a tiny bump in the tissue so it feels grainy and crunchy when pressed.
What to Do to Fix It?